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Discussion Groups

Discussion Groups – or Forums as are also called, have emerged and evolved together with the development of internet. After the onset of e-mail it was just the matter of time when the aggregating services such as Yahoo would offer first “places” where the supporters of a certain trade or idea could congregate to exchange ideas. Thus some of the first bass groups have been created within the Yahoo services too. Later, these forums have started to form independently on the net, and naturally with the arrival of Facebook, the groups with sub-specializations in the bass field have begun to emerge as well. At this moment however, a coherent story on the history of all bass groups would require a longer research effort than currently possible, so hopefully, as the information accumulates such a project may become feasible too.

In the following index you will find the most advanced bass Groups – Forums from all the entire world. Although the language of the internet has almost universally become English, the world’s bass traditions are by no way limited to the English-speaking realm, therefore much of the unique and valuable information on the separate national traditions will obviously be accessible just in these national forums, where the local specialist tend to share the knowledge on their particular bass heritage. With the introduction of “Google Translator” any of these foreign language discussions can easily be accessed in fairly understandable English  too.

In general however, all of the big forums will predominantly cover the mainstream interests such as: common beginning instruction, the popular music – electric bass, jazz and bass equipment fields. If we perceive these large forums form the strictly historic specialist research point, these general discussions may not have much of an academic weight. However, these same mundane topics will eventually (decades in the future perhaps) become a source of a uniquely profiled information that may elucidate quite well the general interest of the bassists at the turn of 20th to 21st century. Thus even this popular aspects of our heritage may become a serious focus of academe one day.

The specialist – historically minded groups, however, start to emerge only with the onset of the Facebook. This global networking tool has indeed simplified the process of setting up a group to such a degree, that almost every ambitious bassist can now make one, resulting in  a great a number of bass groups of all profiles. Yet, on this page you will find listed only the groups related in some way to the academic bass or bass history fields. Also, it should stated that since most of the listed groups are public, and thus by a default accessible to the largest possible auditorium in the world, in many instances it is not possible to impose any scholarly standard on their content. In fact it is often difficult to even keep a discussion within the bounds of the subject to which the very group is dedicated. Likewise, even when a particular issue within a post is discussed, the same may be quickly abandoned if a more interesting idea is mentioned in a discussion thread. Thus for academic purposes, everything and anything that may be found in these forums could also be perceived as a large scale experimental data mining.

Lastly, there is one aspect of Discussion Groups – Forums, which actually offers something never experienced on such a scale in academe before: the so-called “Crowd Sourcing” aspect. In general, and although instinctively known to all users of the internet, this term implies a community work of all members to share and use the common knowledge offered in the field. This element of group’s activity is truly invaluable, as it offers sometime a far deeper insight into some specialties of bass knowledge, than even the meetings of experts at the professional conference may provide. This process is entirely democratic, and aside from the inconveniences of ever-present self promotional or less relevant contributions, the genuine prospects of finding a unique information in these groups are truly inestimable.



Facebook – Bass Heritage Board

Objective: To bring out funny, scholarly, bizarre, provocative, entertaining and after all informative facts spanning the last few hundred years of our double bass heritage. Featured discussions may cover bass iconography, organology, national schools, genealogies of bassists, interesting stories, anecdotes, pedagogy, literature, bass related dissertations, performance technique, bass lutherie and anything else of interest (and related to the subject).

The group does not encourage commercial or promotional posts, although in some instances it may be difficult to differentiate a strictly commercial from a valuable contribution.

Created by: Igor Pecevski (2012)



Facebook – Historic Bass Nerd-room

Objective: “Open to all shop geek and nerd questions” – “….because the last one just got outa hand……”.

Created by: Bret Simner (2011)

ABP memo: This is a group of truly committed members willing to explore every aspect of bass history or trade. You will find in many of the featured discussions such a detail and commitment, that indeed these offer a scholarly level comparable to musicological debates. Please don’t be discouraged by the word “Nerd” used in the group’s title as indeed it symbolizes here only the positive aspects of the term. This is also a closed group, which unfortunately means that you will need to secure the entry, before you can discover all the wonderful goods inside.



Facebook – Viennese Tuning

Objective: “Viennese Tuning Group” is created to support classical Viennese double bass legacy as extension of the “Viennese Tuning” web site and as a complement to “Viennese Tuning – Wiener Kontrabass” group (see next).

Created by: Igor Pecevski (2011)



Viennese Tuning – Wiener Kontrabass

Objective: To all bassists who play the Viennese Violone and like to talk about Sperger, Vanhal, Dittersdorf, Hoffmeister….

Created by: Frank Wittich (2008)

ABP memo: A very large group of over 560 members (at the time of this posting) with established presence in Facebook bass community, and the long history of quality contributions. Some posts may be of commercial profile, yet in-general very current with all Viennese Bass events.



Violone in G/Sol – Facebook

Objective: For players and aficionados of the violone/great bass viol tuned G’-C-F-A-d-g and other similar tunings. It was in use from the 16th century well into the 18th, with a repertoire ranging from viol consorts, continuo, chamber music and virtuoso solo divisions. Do you have questions about repertoire or performance practice? Is there a concert that you would like to tell us about? Would you like to share photos of the violone? This is a place to exchange information about our instrument.

Created by: James Lambert (2009)

ABP memo: A very respected group in the bass performance practice community led by James Lambert – Associate Principal Bass of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and a violone player. Excellent coverage off all issues pertaining to the Baroque and Pre-Baroque bass instruments.



Forumcontrabajo

Description: A very broadly conceived and exceptionally large discussion forum dedicated to the Spanish speaking realm. The forum is divided in separate headings for Classical Bass, Fingerings, Scores, Instruments, Physiology, Jazz Bass, Bass History, Videos – each featuring numerous topics that may contain from tens to several hundreds posts. Some of the contributions offer very interesting insights in to the Spanish and Latin American bass history. At the time of this posting the Forumcontrbajo was citing 677 members and a list of 2253 posts.

Language: Spanish

Created by: Simon Garcia (2003)

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Forum – Contrabbasso Italiano

Description: This is a large and well established discussion forum in Italian language. The Forum cites 948 registered users and some 19158 posts distributed over 2174 topics at the time this posting. By any means this is a valuable resource for those who can use Italian or are willing to use Google translating service. The group covers all topics of relevance to the bass profession.

Language: Italian

Created by: Vito Liuzzi & Antonio Bonacchi (2003?)



Gesellschaft der Bassisten in Deutschland – GEBA Forum

[The German Bass Society – Discussion Portal]

Description: An exceptionally large discussion portal featured within the GEBA website that has been present now for more than decade. The group covers the broadest spectrum of professional bass topics related to Bass – and German Bass interests. Contributions cover mostly the professional equipment, instruments, strings, technique, repertoire issues, yet for those willing to dig deeper also some of the pedagogy and academic bass matters too.

Language: German

Created: ? – (2001?)



Talk Bass – Double Bass Forums

Description: “Double Bass Forums” is a division of “Talk Bass.com” which covers all aspects of general bass knowledge related to general instruction and commercial field of bass guitar and double bass. The “Talk Bass Forum” with all of its subdivisions is most likely the largest and the oldest forum of all listed here, as at the time of this posting their statistics have indicated: 910,866 Threads,   13,879,993 Posts and 231,511 Members in all divisions. Their mission is well expressed in their “About us” and “Welcome” sections. The spectrum of themes related to the classical bassist is also very large, yet diversified through rather numerous separate topics that may take time to discover. The forum also allows advertising and may serve as a good vehicle for promotion of your bass products.

Created by:  Paul Determan (1998)



Violin Forum – Double Bass Making Forum

Description: A forum dedicated the luthiers and bassists interested in bass making and repair. The scope of contribution is smaller when compared to the other mega-forums, yet the group certainly offers a degree useful information for those interested in this subject.

Moderators: Michael Darnton, DonLeister, Lemuel

Created by Igor Pecevski

Posted: November 16, 2013